June 9, 2011
Written by Mattie Steger
Giving back to the people who helped Pratt to the top is her utmost priority.
Her desk was neatly in order and her smile radiated from across the room as she told one of her foreign exchange students goodbye for the day in perfectly spoken Spanish. The plaques and awards that adorned her office walls seemed to be endless.
Comfort Pratt is an assistant professor of Bilingual Education and Diversity Studies and Secondary Education.
She was born and raised in West Africa where she received her undergraduate degree in French; and despite missing her family back home, she described Lubbock as an easy place to live.
“The people that live in Lubbock are very warm – that’s how I like to describe them,” Pratt said. “But the best part about Lubbock is Texas Tech.”
She said she loves everything about the university, especially the students, and not just because of their personality.
“The students here are really nice and are very eager to learn,” she said. “That is why I always have my door open; I love having students come and visit me.”
Pratt’s ability to speak fluent Spanish, French and English gave her the opportunity to work as the secretary to the Spanish ambassador in Ghana and then to the Nigerian ambassador in Spain.
Because her dad taught her to type on a typewriter at such an early age, she said she was able to transcribe meetings, interpret and translate anything.
Pratt learned the diplomatic core very well and loved to see how the different countries supported and related to each other. It’s a beautiful diplomatic world, she said.
“I learned how to represent my country well,” said Pratt. “There is a way of being diplomatic about things that creates healthy relationships with others.”
After working in Ghana and in Spain, she wanted to work in the United Nations, but realized she had a passion and a gift to teach.
My sister always told me I would grow up to be a teacher, she said.
“I would gather children together when I was little and teach them. Even if I did not know more than them I would teach them; anything I knew I would teach,” Pratt said.
She said she has always loved people who are not like her. She gravitates toward people who are from different places who do different things.
Pratt’s experience of playing on the Ghana National Team for hockey, tennis and volleyball made her the ideal match as a Nigerian student’s mentor. As a nominee for “best match,” Pratt said Mentor Tech is one of the best programs Texas Tech has to offer.
Not only does Pratt teach, she writes her own textbooks.
“I write a lot; and when I design a course and don’t find a book to suit it,” she said, “I write the book myself.”
Pratt said she is happy because she knows she is able to do more here in the U.S. for her family than she would be able to do back home. Giving back to the people who helped her to the top is her utmost priority.
Singing in the choir at the Methodist church, playing sports, and cooking are among Pratt’s list of favorite things to do.
“I love my work, and boy I’ve got a lot to show from it,” Pratt said. “But despite everything, I enjoy the simple things in life; and I value the beautiful relationships I’ve made around the world.”
The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including eight doctoral degrees, 12 master's degrees and two bachelor's degrees with numerous specializations leading to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.
Programs in the college are housed in two departments. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers undergraduate programs leading to initial teaching certificates and graduate programs in bilingual education, curriculum and instruction, elementary education, language literacy and secondary education.
The Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership offers graduate programs in counselor education, educational leadership, educational psychology, higher education, instructional technology and special education.